Opus reaches final for hospitality’s most prestigious award. 


  
Opus at Cornwall Street have been selected as semi-finalists for the prestigious Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence. 

The awards, which are designed to recognise the UK’s most talented young people within hospitality, will see Opus front of house staff Dorenzo Pratt and Iona Adams, as well as chef de partie Martin Baylis, the only kitchen staff in the Midlands to be named as a semi-finalist, complete a series of exams, interviews and technical tasks this month in an attempt to achieve the industry’s most reputable award. 

The gifted trio reached the semi-finals after demonstrating exceptional knowledge and an enthusiastic attitude through an application process. During the finals, Dorenzo, who has been working at Opus for two years after starting as a part-time student from University College Birmingham, and Iona, who has been at Opus since January 2016, will partake in a written exam and rigorous interview on Opus’ food and wine menus in order to receive the esteemed service award. Martin, who has been working for Opus for one year, will have two hours to prepare squid, salt baked whole sea bass, a rack of lamb and an apple tart, as well as complete a theory test and demonstrate basic kitchen skills to receive the kitchen award.  
Irene Allan, director at Opus at Cornwall Street, said: “We’re very committed to developing our front of house and kitchen teams, so having three members reach the finals for the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards is a tremendous achievement. We’re incredibly proud of Dorenzo, Iona and Martin and are thrilled that their talents and sector knowledge has been recognised. Not only will the award be a huge achievement for our staff personally, but it will also be an achievement for Birmingham’s growing culinary scene. 

“There are only two restaurants locally with staff in the shortlist, ourselves and our neighbours Purnells Restaurant  so we’d also like to wish Bradley Pace from there the best of luck too.” 

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence is an examination and not a competition. All or none of those that reach the final can achieve the award depending on their ability to attain the standard of excellence set by the judges. 

Dorenzo and Iona took part in the service finals on Saturday 19th March at The Ritz in London. Martin will take part in the kitchen finals on Wednesday 30th March at University College Birmingham. 

For more information on Opus at Cornwall Street, please see: 

http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/

I wish them all good luck with this prestigious award.

   
    
 Vegetarian dishes at Opus.
See below for my review of Opus’ vegetarian menu: 

https://t.co/AIpppfvenl

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Opus reveals newly-refurbished Kitchen Table Dining experience. 


  
 

Opus at Cornwall Street is introducing its newly-refurbished ‘Kitchen Table’ dining experience, where guests can enjoy their meal at a special newly designed table  in the heart of the restaurant’s kitchen.
Surrounded by the bustling kitchen, diners can see their dishes being created by Opus’ talented young team and enjoy a bespoke five-course tasting menu, which is tailored around the guest’s preferences, (including vegetarian) served by the table’s own dedicated waiter. 

With each course introduced by the chef, the Kitchen Table is a dinner party like no other, with guests getting an insight into the provenance of the food and the techniques used in its creation.

Ben Ternent, executive chef at Opus, said: “The Kitchen Table brings an added dimension to dining with us. Customers are able to see how the whole kitchen operation works, have a tour of the different sections and learn about how we source from our family of artisanal suppliers around the British Isles. 

The Kitchen Table also gives my team a rare opportunity to interact directly with the customer, to explain what we’ve created and how, and to listen to their feedback.”

Originally launched in 2009, the Kitchen Table has been given a complete makeover as it continues to rise in popularity. Plates and wine glasses from Fiskars’ ‘Tanssi’ range have been introduced, as well as newly upholstered chairs. In keeping with the rest of the restaurant, the Kitchen Table has now been clothed and a new, organic feel has been introduced through the addition of beech and ceramic tiles.

The Opus Kitchen Table seats up to eight diners and costs £75 per person or £110 per person with wines to match each of the tasting menu’s five courses. A new four-course bespoke menu has also been introduced for lunch time.

For more information about Opus restaurant, visit 

http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/

0121 200 2323

Photos courtesy of Opus and Clive Reeves PR. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

#Tastymorsels: Bar Opus and Opus latest.


Three nice pieces to share about two of Birmingham’s finest Independent restaurants and two of the best places for Vegetarians to eat in the city, 

Bar Opus based in the heart of Birmingham’s bustling Colmore Business District has appointed Carl Hawkins as its new general manager. 

Born and raised in Birmingham, Carl has over 15 years’ experience as a ‘liquid chef’ working with some of Birmingham’s finest cocktail destinations. With a vast amount of experience in the bar industry, Carl was eager to join the Opus family and help catapult Bar Opus into the forefront of the Birmingham food and drink scene.   

Carl previously worked for The Jekyll & Hyde pub where, under his leadership, it became a national finalist for “Best Spirit Pub” in 2013 and “Best Cocktail Menu” by Class Magazine in 2011. Carl is also one of the founders of the Birmingham Association of Bartenders and has been committed to cultivating the next generation of bartenders for over a decade. 

Speaking of his appointment, Carl said: “I am excited to become a part of, what I consider, a legacy project. I believe that Bar Opus will become a Birmingham institution and will be here for many years to come. We will be bringing a contemporary technique to cocktail making that will keep customers coming back. Bar Opus will exceed expectations of what a cocktail bar in Birmingham should be and we will redefine the cocktail and dining experience” 

 Irene Allan, director at Opus, said: “Carl is creative and passionate about enhancing the bar experience. We are thrilled to have his expertise to help establish Bar Opus as one of Birmingham’s premier bars. Carl knows the ins and outs of the Birmingham bar scene and his leadership and skills will be essential to the bar’s success.” 

Bar Opus is the sixth-month old bar addition to the Opus family, boasting a contemporary and modern landscape that will cement it as a city staple. Keeping with the Opus ethos, Bar Opus develops innovative food and cocktail menus, uses the freshest produce from the company’s range of British and strictly sustainable suppliers and engages with British spirit suppliers to create its inspiring cocktails.   
 

Birmingham waitress achieves prestigious hospitality award: 

 A talented waitress at city-centre restaurant Opus at Cornwall Street, Gabriella Murea has achieved the celebrated Service Award at this year’s Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence.

The final, which took place on Saturday 16th May at Le Gavroche, London, saw Gabriella and 15 other finalists from some of the country’s finest restaurants and hotels serve a three course meal to two guests. As part of the service, Gabriella had to set up the table, decant and describe the wine, and fillet a dover sole in front of the diners. The awards, which have a high-profile judging panel, received an unprecedented number of entries and are designed to encourage young people within hospitality to achieve the highest possible standards in their profession.

Gabriella, 26, has worked at Opus for just over six months whilst studying hospitality and events management at University College Birmingham (UCB) and was the only finalist from the Midlands to be shortlisted for the award. Speaking about her achievement, she said: “I’m so happy to have passed and got my award. I prepared as much as I could for each stage of the process and it has really paid off. The standard was very high and I am delighted that the judges saw the quality of work that I can produce and felt it worthy of the award.”
Irene Allan, restaurant director at Opus restaurant, said: “This is such a fantastic achievement for Gabriella. She is an absolute perfectionist and always delivers superb service, so to have this award as recognition of that is a huge accomplishment. Pawel, our restaurant manager, has been an inspiring mentor for Gabriella and has supported all her hard work. We are committed to developing both our front of house and kitchen teams and encourage them to go for awards like this. Everyone at Opus is immensely proud of her and we’re privileged to have her working with us.”

This follows on from Opus at Cornwall Street promoting head chef Ben Ternent to Executive chef to replace David Colcombe who helped launch Opus a decade ago and had run its kitchens. 

He will manage a team of eleven chefs and three kitchen porters at the groups three venues- Opus at Cornwall Street, Bar Opus and Cafe Opus at the Ikon Gallery in Brindley Place. He will help to develop menus and buy produce from the companies range of local and sustainable suppliers and continue to cook. 

We wish him well, and hope that standards will be maintained. 

  
I can’t wait to see what he and his team cook up in the future, as vegetarian dishes are always worth tasting at Opus. 

Thanks for reading 
Andy 😊